My kids ask me if they could come to the farm and celebrate Mothers Day. They wanted their dad to cook and them to bring the sides. Sounded like fun. Then the more I talked to them and thought about it, I decided this might put more of a hardship on them than it would give to them. A good mother always thinks of her kids well being first before her own. So I decided to cancel Mothers Day. My kids are grown now and have their own lives.
Through the years holidays have always been a big deal in our family. We would all get together and there would be a big meal, whether we celebrated anything from Christmas to their birthdays. We always had great expectations of these times together. I guess holidays and celebrating together are not all bad. Some people are able to gather and really love each other. I guess some people fake it, been there done that. It is a time of building memories. I love some of the memories we have make together, pictures taken and treasures of gifts given. But more times than not someone left with their feelings hurt, disappointment flooded our hearts many times. The thoughts we are not a close family. Do these people really love me anyway. Of course my children and husband are dearly loved by all but we love imperfectly. We love selfishly. We want our own way. We have fought and quarreled and demanded people love and accept us perfectly.
But then we give to each other. We serve each other. We put each other before our own selves. We forgive and forget. We laugh, we hug, we pray. We give gifts and love that is beyond what we can do. We look to the needs and interest of each other, pray for each other and hope for Gods best in each of our lives. My kids are forming their own relationships now. I don't have to try to keep them close or fix their relationships.
I thought I love my kids all year long. I told them be with your friends, think of my love for you and the love of your perfect Parent in heaven. We all are busy people and we need the break, not more pressure to perform. I just decided the best way I could be the best mom I knew how, this particular Mothers Day, was to call Mothers Day off and I am glad I did.
I always thought about my kids...if I could put you in a glass dome on top of a hill and protect you from the world and its pain I would. But I could not do what I had hoped so in my eyes, I failed. This is a fallen world and we are a fallen people. But there were things I wish I had taught my kids growing up. These are some of them but I didn't know them myself. I did the best I could but I failed. I don't care what kind of parent you are or how much you love your kids, I think when they are raised you will say...it was all of God's grace in my kids life. I did the best I could but it was not good enough. Some of us parent better than others these days. Our kids are learning from our mistakes. But it cannot be done perfectly. We must depend and pray and believe God for our kids. We will even fail at this but He does not fail. We must trust Him to the deepest part of our heart for our kids, their salvation. We must do our best, claim His promises and trust in His grace for our family.
1. I cannot parent you alone but God will help me. You are just on loan to me. He loves you more than I do. All I have is His including you. It is He who will show me what to do with it all.
2. I will fail and you will fail but God is bigger than our failure. You are not perfect and neither am I. We will claim that He uses it all for good and for His glory.
3. I love you but I cannot be your friend nor make you happy all of the time. You are not going to like me sometimes but you have to trust everything I do, I have your best interest at heart. I will be wrong and I want to listen to you. Share your heart with me.
4. Not given them the law to prove themselves and be accepted but taught them by grace. Given them the law as Gods gift to them. To see how short they fail. To see how they needed Jesus. That He loves them just as they are. They are totally accepted, totally loved. That the law is one of Gods ways to protect them and show them how to live. But the law would not give them the power and the love they needed to live. It would not give them life. How to budget time and money and eating better. How to have a balanced life and how to enjoy it.
5. I wish I had taught them more about the new law; better how to love God and love people. This is sanctification. Makes them more like Jesus.
6. I wish I had taught them more how to serve each other than me serving them. How to encourage and build someone up.
7. Instead of being so focused on their outward behavior I wish I had shepherded their hearts. Ask them questions, listened to what was going on in their little minds and hearts.
8. Taught them about suffering and how God would use it to bring glory to Himself and for them to trust Him more. How He had a plan for them and they could not mess it up.
9. To lean on Him and not themselves.
10. My kids saw me studying a lot and how I had a hunger for His word, but I wish I had allowed them to go into their rooms or outside and learn to be quite and listen to God. I wish I had shown them how to enjoy God through His creation and their gifts He had given them. I wish I had modeled this for them.
11. How nothing can meet their deepest needs for love and acceptance but God.
12. To accept and embrace who they are. They will fail but they have the righteousness of God. They are His children. As my friend said, His children, perfectly imperfect, perfectly loved.
13. I wish I had taught them about anger, righteous and unrighteous and how to deal with it. How Gods anger we deserve was taken out on Jesus. How we don't have to be angry and try to control but can trust God. There are things we are going to be angered at and it is right, but if we don't forgive it will eat us alive.
I am sure there are things I should add to this list but these are some things that come first to my mind. My kids are beautiful adult people who will always be my kids. Not because of what they do but because they are mine and I love them. They are all loving God and loving people. They have failed and will fail, suffered and will suffer, grown and are growing, I am so proud of each of them. They are trophies of His grace as Tim Keller says. I don't worry about my kids anymore. I hurt for them at times and it is hard. I try to love them, disciple and encourage them. Tell them I am so proud of them. Ask for their forgiveness when I fail. I see Gods faithfulness in their lives. I see now God never intended me to be a perfect parent but to do my best and trust Him with the rest. I did that. I failed big time and you will fail to. Some of the most powerful things you can say to yours kids are I understand. Jesus came to same the same thing. So look at me to look at Jesus. He is faithful even when I am not. It is not that some of you won't be celebrated tomorrow but that Jesus celebrates over you. Happy Mothers Day to all you moms out there. You are awesome and I love you!